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Problems Faced By The Tsar Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

How far was Nicolas ll personally responsible for the problems of the Tsarist regime in Russia?

It was Tzar Nicholas 2 political naivete and extreme obstinance that led to the downfall of the Russia

Certain aspects of Tsar Nicholas 2's behaviour definitely contributed to bringing about the fall of the Russian Empire, however most of these qualities were not weaknesses in character as such, they were qualities we would associate with poor leadership. When we say 'weakness in character' we mean being easily influenced/controlled by others. Nicholas himself was a firm believer in autocracy; he was virtually unmovable in this belief. And this obstinant belief clearly illustrates he ...view middle of the document...

In his early manhood Nicholas lived the life of an idle socialite uninterested in the affairs of state, he found government meetings 'boring' and uninteresting. As he had never taken a liking to political affairs he was underprepared to take the throne, this fact along -with his stubborn belief in autocracy- also goes a long way to explain his political naivete in many of the difficult situations he faced. Was this unwillingness to face the political realities due to him being blinded be his obstinate belief in autocracy or was it just that he was politically naïve?

Throughout his rule as discontent rose Nicholas still believed that he still had the support of all his people save for a couple of 'undesirables'. In a sense he was living in an alternate political reality. An example of his political naivete was the 1905 revolution that nearly toppled the regime. Before this there had been enormous changes to the composition of the upper-class; the nobles-traditional upper-class- had lost a lot of their power and influence. The new upper-class of bankers, merchants and intelligentsia wanted reform to the system of government, the creation of a parliament (Duma). But Nicholas, blind to the threat of a united elite and lower class-they were already protesting over shocking working conditions- wanting reform refused demands, as a result Nicholas' government nearly fell and if not for the shrewd political maneuvering of Minister Segius Witte certainly would have. The October Manifesto gave basic civil liberties and a Duma with limited powers. This example illustrates that Nicholas was not of weak character but was politically naïve.

His fatal decision to go to the front to command Russian troops in WW1 proved to be a catalyst for the revolution, he left behind him in Petersburg his wife Alexandra and the mysterious 'man of god' Rasputin. Alexandra was deeply attached to Rasputin as he had the power to hypnotize and heal her hemophiliac son Alexis when he was bleeding. As Alexandra had a lot of power when Nicholas was away Rasputin was able to influence her to the extent that he was appointing ministers and incredibly incompetent ones at that. The only criterion was that the ministers should support Rasputin.

The fact that Alexandra and Rasputin were interfering so much in government matters led to Nicholas' support fading among the nobles, officials and army generals. They saw a tsar who had...

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